In a time where travel is limited and families are seeking new entertainment options, the upcoming Bahamas-based film DOLPHIN ISLAND hits in the nick of time. On March 2, audiences can experience this film that Dove.org calls "a heartwarming tale of love and accountability."
Directed by Mike Disa (SPACE DOGS, HOODWINKED TOO!). Produced by Shaked Berenson (SPACE DOGS, A TIGER'S TALE), and written by Disa, Berenson, and Rolfe Kanefsky (PUPPY SWAP: LOVE UNLEASHED), DOLPHIN ISLAND is a family-focused movie sharing the story of a girl, her dolphin, and the power of family.
The movie revolves around the story of 14-year-old Annabel lives with her fisherman grandfather on an island paradise. She is surrounded by an extended family of loving but quirky neighbors and her best friend - a dolphin named Mitzy. Everything changes when her maternal grandparents arrive with a shifty lawyer to bring her back to New York. It's up to Annabel and her friends to figure out how to save the day and prove that love conquers all!
The DOLPHIN ISLAND trailer can be viewed here.
We are honored to be able catch up with actress Annette Lovrien Duncan to talk about this inspirational movie.
Q: Thank you Annette for doing this interview with us. You are mom of 7, a grandmother, a professor, and you have just started to go after your dream of acting in TV and movies! What prompted to chase your dream?
When I was a girl, I split endless hours between writing "books" and singing/performing in front of the mirror with a literal hairbrush microphone. My grandfather used to talk about how Mitzi Gaynor, a distant cousin, would perform for people in his blacksmith shop. I thought if she could do it, why couldn't I?
But though I longed to be an actress, I didn't know how to "break in" to the industry. I ended up going the direction of the "book writing" and becoming an English professor, which has been (and still is) fabulous. But that secret longing remained. And when my daughter and son-in-law who had been acting in Hollywood moved back to Milwaukee and started a film school (CoLAB), I decided to try it for fun.
I literally was trembling the first time I stepped in front of a camera to do a slate, but within weeks I was submitting to Actors Access (a site where actors submit for roles) and shortly thereafter opportunities began to open up. To whatever degree God continues to bless this venture, I will joyfully and faithfully try to use it for His glory, because I think this is part of what He has made me for.
Q: What are some of TV shows and movies which you have had been involved with?
Stage acting for musicals such as Godspell or Cabaret were always my acting staple. But recently I've done commercials for companies such as Apple, Korres, Stainmaster, and Hanacure, TV shows such as People Magazine Investigates (Investigation Discovery Network), and a yet-to-bereleased Documentary on the life of Russell Brunson. Dolphin Island was my first foray into the world of feature films, and oh-what a joyous entry!
Q: You have recently been involved in the new movie "Dolphin Island." Briefly, what is the movie about?
Dolphin Island chronicles the struggles of a family, torn apart by loss and misunderstanding, to find their way to love and mutual acceptance. Teenage Annabel is at the center of a custody battle among her paternal and maternal grandparents, a battle not just over guardianship but over life values. Her faithful and adorable dolphin friend, Mitzi (yep, full circle with another Mitzi), joins with her in the fight to stay where her heart longs to be. But opposition and potential tragedy await. You'll have to watch the film to see whether faith, hope, and love can overcome.
Q: What was your role in the movie?
I played the role of Sheryl Williams, Anna's wealthy maternal grandmother, who has come with her husband from New York to bring Anna back to live with them. Their hope is to give her the stability and material blessings they feel she has been lacking. But not everyone sees it that way....
Q: What was the most challenging part in acting out your role?
When a movie is being filmed, each scene has to be shot repeatedly to focus on the separate actors involved. A scene may have 10 or more takes if there are numerous actors in it. Several of Sheryl's scenes are very emotional, and she is crying at times. To learn how to balance strong emotions and tears-to turn them on and off and back on, and to experience it afresh each time-that was a new challenge for me.
Q: What were some of the highlights for you in the making of this movie?
The talented cast and crew I got to work with, the gorgeous location, the resilient, delightful, and hospitable people of the Bahamas-all were fabulous. And the dolphins were unbelievable!! I had heard they were exceptionally intelligent and sensitive, but they blew my expectations out of the water (pun intended). For example, to get to the boat we'd film on, we had to walk along a dock and the dolphins would swim by, looking cute and staring at us from a distance. But part way through filming we were given the gift of being able to swim with the dolphins at the sanctuary. I had one I was assigned to, and we did tricks together (he did them, I directed them) and swam side-by-side.
From that day forward, every time I would walk along the dock, "my" dolphin would speed up to the dock and bob alongside me, talking and trying to get me to come swim with him again! Such intelligent and independent creatures. As Annabel says in the movie when she's asked whether Mitzi belongs to her, "Mitzi belongs to Mitzi." Indeed.
Q: Why should our readers watch this new film?
Well, I wouldn't recommend watching it...unless you want your world warmed and your heart expanded by the beauty and love it conveys. You'll fall in love with the dolphin-that's a given-but you'll also fall for the characters, and find yourself caught up in the joy, sorrow, and suspense of their lives. You'll probably start watching because it's a family-friendly flick with breathtaking scenery and fun music. You'll likely finish watching with faith-in God and in humanity-that is challenged and renewed. Remember that I warned you. ☺